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Some of the most impressive films of all time started with an idea and a small budget. The Godfather movies were famously repressed by the studio and constantly forced under tighter and tighter restrictions. Despite all these restrictions, some of the quickest and stillest shots are responsible for high intensity and extremely dramatic moments throughout the original film.

In the Classic Godfather Film, many of these scenes (pictured above) that build tension are actually just still photos meant to create a sense discomfort.

It’s those same small budget sets and impressive writing styles that make The Guilty an amazing film. The concept is simple. A police officer in a unique set of circumstances has to battle against time, the rigidity of the American police structure, and an apathetic workforce to help prevent catastrophic end situations.

Where this movie shines is its capitalization of big emotions in simple contexts. You don’t need to travel an entire cinematic universe to feel connected to a character. In this film, you watch one of the performances of a lifetime from Jake Gyllenhall as he shows the full spectrum of emotion a 911 call operator can go through in an afternoon shift.

This is not your average Gyllenhall Film

In many ways, Jake’s character represents the internal frustration with the system surrounding us. Taxes, the natural elements, procedural operations, and even other characters apathetic reaction to obviously disastrously bad situations can get in the way of allowing us to be our true authentic selves. We watch Joe connect with someone in need of help and watch as many elements of his history impact his less-than-stellar decision making in the moment.

We watch him connect to some great characters and little by little, our plot unfolds. In a way not dissimilar to our own, we watch Joe and Emilie’s world unfold moment by moment. Often times in the moment, we find ourselves believing one narrative while the films writing then flips the script on us so the good guys might not be who we are looking for.

In a world so devastatingly involved in creating new narratives every day, we watch a new story unfold moment after moment that questions our very confidence in the way we perceive the world.

IMDB gives this a 6.3/10… I believe it deserves a 9/10.

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